Restaurant review – Minos, piece of Greece in Helsinki

21 11 2013

Minos -

Restaurant Minos is over 25 years old restaurant which serves traditional Greek food. For example you can get Tzatziki, Pita bread, Moussaka and of course Ouzo for aperitif. You can also here Greek spoken as waiters speak it to each other.

Minos has pleasant covered terrace which can be used also in winter time, as it is heated. We always choose to dine there because you can observe by-passers at the same time. In the summer Minos has it’s own spot in popular Kamppi shopping center terrace area. Note that restaurant is not open on Sundays.

Starters usually are the best part of the dinner which was true also this time. We ordered tsatsiki, marinated olives and dolmades (vine leaves stuffed with rice and herbs). But of course ouzo Plomari for aperitif; with ice it is perfect appetite initiator; Jamas!

Tsatsiki was excellent, be careful you do not eat a full stomach with fresh bread because it is just so delicious. Dolmades were warm as they should be and again with tsatsiki, perfect. Olives as starter may sound simple but the marinade made them juicy and appropriately salty.

Starters at Minos -

For main courses ordered Catch of the day, grilled fresh fish which was Dorada and Tiger shrimps on skewer with garlic and lemon sauce. You can choose from 4 side dishes to supplement the main course. Alternatives are Baked potato wedges, potato gratin, rice or seasons braised vegetables. Also ordered Grilled pita bread which came after second request.

Gilt perch (Dorada) was palatable as it tasted like just caught from Mediterranean sea. Just a little bit over grilled but not too much as it did not bother. Tiger shrimp skewer was the weakest part of the dinner, a little bit too salty and vegetables were in fact the same as you could order separately as a side dish. Luckily chose potato gratin which was ok.

Dorada - reijosfood.comGiant shrimps -

Then for desserts Halva and Tiramisu with Metaxa brandy + Metaxa brandy.

Halva for dessert is interesting delicacy but as there are not so many options without lactose, tasted it. And if you like Halva, you would have liked this one also. Tiramisu is Italian dessert but Minos moistened it with brandy, that transforms it Greek dessert. But of course had to make sure that there would be enough moisture and therefore ordered just in case glass of Metaxa brandy.

Halva - reijosfood.comTiramisu -

Restaurant Minos really is the piece of Greece in Helsinki! Even wine list consists of Greek wines which is partly good and partly not so good thing. Enjoyed white wine; 2009 Petra, Kir-Yanni. As you can see in the picture vintage is 2012, not 2009. Greek white wines pair perfeclty with Greek starters but for fish they are challenge due to lacking character. However, if you want to enjoy complete Greek package, it must include local wines.

Service was quick and polite. You might want to check menu before hand because waiters start asking for order soon after your arrival.


Petra wine -

Restaurant review: Casa Largo

16 02 2013

Restaurant Casa Largo on the ground floor of Sokos department store is a modern “Spanish” restaurant with a bar, tapas bar and restaurant as well as wine bar. Main dining room is on 1st floor opposite of Railway Station and tapas bar is on 2nd floor. You can see hotel Vaakuna reception from so called 2nd floor wine bar which is behind tapas bar. Functionalist style, which was popular during Helsinki Olympic games 1952 including Glass Palace (Lasipalatsi) being opposite the hotel Vaakuna, has been maintained. Picture below is from the hotel lobby taken from the Casa Largo wine bar.

Hotel Vaakuna lobby

All HOK-Elanto restaurants have Champagne offer for the whole year 2013. You can get bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte Brut for 39€, which costs the same as wines at the restaurant. Had to taste it instead of Cava although we were in the “Spanish” restaurant. BUT, it was served too warm which made the tasting useless. Pity for champagne,,,,Hopefully champagne is not wasted in other HOK-Elanto restaurants.


Started dinner with Tapas frias & calientes: TOSTADAS manchego, piquillo peppers and aioli on toast and several times POLLO AL AJILLO garlic seasoned chicken, Really delicious and well prepared dishes. Also had Tapas frias: QUESO MANCHEGO Manchego cheese and rosemary honey and CHORIZO Chorizo sausage. To be honest tapas were best part of dinner. Recommend to order 4 tapas dishes for main course and you are there. Chicken has been always delicious and seldom Manchego lets you down. TORTILLA ESPAÑOLA potato omelette was OK but original ones in Spain beat this one.


For main courses had 2 times DORADA A LA PARRILLA whole gilthead bream, grilled and stuffed with garlic butter and herbs, served with escalivada vegetables and herbs. Because Solomillo is usually good test for quality of kitchen compared to original Spanish kitchen, also ordered SOLOMILLO A LA PIMIENTA grilled fillet of beef (200g) with creamy peppersauce. Guilthead was basically ok but it was over cooked. Meat was best part of main course, really tender and soft, to be honest better than same dishes in Spain. Also ordered POLLO ASADO CON CREMA ESPINACAS corn fed chicken breast with creamy spinach and sherry sauce. Unfortunately chicken was too dry.

Gilt head???????????????????????????????SolomilloChicken

You have to order side dish from separate list (no additional cost); alternatives were TORTILLA ESPAÑOLA potato omelette, ARROZ rice with saffron, PATATAS BRAVAS fried potatoes with salsa brava and aioli and ENSALADA salad. You could order Patatas Bravas as one of the tapas starters but it suited well with Solomillo, this was bull’s eye pairing!

For desserts ordered famous Spanish “Churros”. Unfortunately you should stick to original churros because this version was not enough baked. Churros are perfect if prepared well and sorbet is always eatable, if prepared at the restaurant. Do not know if it was, because of the chewyness.


Unfortunately service had not improved. We had to ask several times for service but requestd were forgotten. Also paying was problem, had to go to cashier as mobile system did not work.
Casa Largo is really popular restaurant because of location. Remember to book table beforehand but be careful your wishes are conveyd to restaurant, ours were not.


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